Cleaner accused of hiding woman's body in bin as tribute paid to 'caring soul'

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Maureen Gitau, 24, was reported missing on December 10 (Image: Met Police / SWNS)
Maureen Gitau, 24, was reported missing on December 10 (Image: Met Police / SWNS)

A cleaner charged with murdering a woman has been accused of disposing of her body in a bin at his workplace.

Maureen Gitau, 24, from Deptford, London, was reported missing on December 10 last year, after last being seen five days before.

Her family made a desperate appeal to help find her but on New Year's Eve they were left 'hurt and broken' after police announced a 54-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of killing her.

Mark Moodie, from Woolwich, London, has been charged with her murder and appeared at the Old Bailey on Thursday.

He is accused of killing Maureen at Richmond House where he worked as a cleaner on the night of December 5.

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The Old Bailey heard claims her body was dumped in a bin which was collected on December 8 with prosecution saying "the deceased never left that building alive."

Cleaner accused of hiding woman's body in bin as tribute paid to 'caring soul'The 54-year-old cleaner is accused of killing Maureen at Richmond House where he worked as a cleaner on the night of December 5 (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Moodie showed little visible emotion as the facts of the case against him were read out and her body has yet to be found.

He did not enter a plea and only spoke to confirm his name and date of birth when he appeared for the 90-minute hearing.

James Dawes KC, prosecuting, told the court: "There was no good reason for the defendant to be in Richmond House on the evening of December 5 to December 6.

"The deceased never left that building alive."

No bail application was made by Moodie's lawyer Garry Green who made extensive representations, which cannot be reported for legal reasons.

Mr Green's bid for some of his submissions to be made in private was rejected by Judge Mark Dennis.

Moodie was remanded in custody until his next scheduled appearance at the same court on March 23 for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

Maureen’s devastated family have launched a GoFundMe page to help with her funeral costs and shared their heartbreak at losing their “beautiful daughter.”

Cleaner accused of hiding woman's body in bin as tribute paid to 'caring soul'Moodie showed little visible emotion as the facts of the case against him were read out (Getty Images)

On the GoFundMe website they wrote: “Maureen was a beautiful, loving and caring soul. She would light up any room she walked into.

Mum appeared 'completely normal' moments before vanishing while walking dogMum appeared 'completely normal' moments before vanishing while walking dog

“We are very hurt and broken to hear the news of her brutal murder and are yet to find our daughter, to lay her to rest.

“We pray God grants us peace and comforts us during this time.

“Please keep our family in your prayers.”

The family says they hope the donation will go towards funeral costs to give her the “best send off" once her body is found.

Police are asking anyone who knew Ms Gitau and, who saw her on 5 December in the Deptford area, or anyone who believes they have information that could assist the investigation, to call 101.

Melissa Sigodo

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation